The Death of a Dalit in a Democracy

The Death of a Dalit in a Democracy

The persistence of caste perpetuates violence against Dalits and subordinated castes and violates their natural human rights.


Jadumani Mahanand, Assistant Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.


In Brahminical Hindu society, caste is one of the dominant factors that constitute identity and determines a person’s material and social destiny. It was expected that modern constitutional democracy would eventually break the monster of caste. The social quality of democratic life can be measured by the ethical standards of individual liberty, equality, and public morals, by which every citizen is respected without discrimination. In other words, this is a normative that one should expect in the 76-year-old democracy of India.

Perhaps India is not yet a mature democracy to expect such high moral civic virtue. Civic and human rights violations against Dalits have been unending. Violence against them has been normalised and naturalised to such an extent that it does not affect the conscience of casteist Hindu society.

Dalit democracy

According to the Constitution, the practice of untouchability is an offence. But the Constitution does not stop the cultural and customary practice of caste. It does not acknowledge that the practice of caste is a crime, although caste and fundamental rights are inherently contradictory.

Published in: The India Forum

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